Follow Monday night’s game between the Seahawks and the Broncos Monday night at 7:30 p.m. with the Blitz pre-game show on RDS.
SEATTLE — The last time Geno Smith was the starting quarterback to start an NFL season, he was young, inexperienced and prone to making repeated mistakes.
« There were a lot of things I didn’t know, not because I wasn’t trying, but just because I was young, » Smith said.
Much older and hopefully wiser, Smith is preparing to lead the Seahawks against the Denver Broncos on Monday night in Seattle.
It’s been eight years since he was the starting quarterback on the opening weekend of the regular season.
Depending on how the season unfolds, this could be Smith’s last chance to be in that role.
« He’s ready, » Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. I’d say he’s the best Geno has ever been – he’s never been so in control. It gives him a very good chance of being a great asset for us. »
Most of the attention, however, will go to the other quarterback.
After a decade in Seattle including two NFC titles and a Super Bowl title, Russell Wilson will make his debut with Denver.
He will face the team that gave him an opportunity as a third-round pick in 2012.
Wilson’s stint with Seattle included 158 regular season starts, 292 touchdown passes, nine playoff wins and a long list of organization records.
« Russell was in charge and there will be emotions on both sides, but I’m not getting carried away by any of that, » Smith said. I just focus on my business. »
Smith beat out Drew Lock for the starting job, although Smith was always ahead and never fell behind.
The week of camp where Lock might have had a chance to close the gap, he contracted COVID-19 and no longer had a real chance of taking the job.
The last time Smith started a season as a starting quarterback was in 2014. He was entering his second season with the New York Jets, having guided them to an 8-8 record in his rookie season.
The Jets finished that season 4-12, including 3-10 in games Smith started.
In early 2015, Smith became best known for being punched and suffering a broken jaw at the hands of a teammate during a locker room disagreement.
Since then, Smith has been a substitute. He tried to learn in those situations, from Eli Manning with the Giants, Philip Rivers with the Chargers and Wilson with Seattle.
« Being around these guys and just learning about football has helped me a lot, » Smith said. With the different systems and different coordinators, I was able to gain a ton of knowledge. »